Bermuda-based ACE Limited has announced that its board of directors “has approved a re-domestication of the Company to move its place of incorporation from the Cayman Islands to Zurich, Switzerland. ACE’s shareholders will be asked to vote in favor of the proposal at ACE’s Annual General Meeting, scheduled for July in Hamilton, Bermuda.
If the proposal is approved, it would remain subject to compliance with regulatory conditions. ACE said it “expects the re-domestication to be effective in July 2008. In connection with the re-domestication, ACE plans to establish a corporate holding company office in Zurich.”
The announcement further explained: “Following the re-domestication, the ACE Group of Companies will continue to operate as they do currently. ACE Limited will continue to maintain executive offices in Bermuda, and ACE Group Holdings will continue to maintain executive offices in New York. The Company’s Bermuda insurance and reinsurance operations will continue to operate without material changes. ACE will continue to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its common shares will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “ACE.”
Chairman and CEO Evan G. Greenberg described the change as “part of the natural evolution of ACE from its beginning over two decades ago as a monoline excess insurer owned by its policyholders to a global publicly-traded insurance company operating throughout the developed and developing world.
“Our incorporation in a major financial center, home to many global financial and insurance companies, will provide an improved corporate structure and an excellent location for further growth and expansion of our Company,” he continued. “We believe that this change in our corporate residency will provide us with better strategic flexibility, a solid legal and regulatory environment, and improved ability to manage our capital and our businesses. Switzerland also affords us the security of a network of tax treaties. At the same time, we intend to maintain the ACE Group’s operations in Bermuda, where we have conducted business since the inception of the Company.”
ACE also said it doesn’t “expect the re-domestication to have any material adverse short-term or long-term impact on our financial results. Full details of the transactions, and the associated benefits and risks, will be provided in the Company’s proxy statement with respect to its 2008 Annual General Meeting.
The Company will host a conference call and web cast today Thursday, March 20, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss the re-domestication. The conference call will be available via live and archived web cast at www.acelimited.com or by dialing 888-240-9352 (within the United States) or 913-312-0661 (international); passcode 2830244. Please refer to the ACE Limited web site in the Investor Information section under Calendar of Events for details. A replay of the call will be available for approximately one month. To listen to the replay, dial: 888-203-1112 (in the United States) or 719-457-0820 (international); passcode 2830244.
Source: ACE Limited
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